Post number 7 for VeganMoFo.
John and I decided to have a weekend away in Asheville, NC. We found a green B&B that understood vegan/gluten free food and was close to downtown. We booked a room and headed to Asheville on Friday morning. We took our time and left later in the morning. We were not in any hurry to rush. It was our weekend and we wanted to relax. Our first meal in Asheville was dinner on Friday night and we decided that it was time to try Plant, the new vegan restaurant that opened in Asheville in late summer. I had contacted the restaurant in advance and learned that many of their dishes were gluten free. With that confirmation, we were off to have a nice, relaxing evening of delicious cruelty-free fare. I could hardly wait!
The restaurant was easy to find and had a nice modern decor inside. The kitchen was open, so you could see the chefs working tirelessly on their vegan creations. Every seat in the restaurant was taken. We arrived right before the rush and avoided waiting, but I'd recommend reservations in the future. The hostess seated us and provided us with a one page menu and a corresponding drink list.
Now it was on to the good part- VEGAN FOOD! John ordered a local beer and I ordered an iced mint tea. As a starter we ordered the cheese plate. It was composed of the homemade almond cheese with herbs sprinkled on top served with black garlic oil and vinegar, apples, olives, pea shoots (or some kind of small green), and shredded carrots. We were both impressed by the cheese plate. The almond cheese was soft and spreadable. It was delicious on the apple or eaten with the olives. The cheese is versatile enough to be eaten with a sweet or savory accompaniment.
For dinner I ordered the black pepper tofu which came with a jasmine rice and kaffir lime cake and a saute' of zucchini, and exotic mushrooms with spinach on top. I do not know the name of the mushrooms, but I had never had them before. To date they are my favorite mushroom. They had a nice chewy texture and a smooth flavor that is hard to describe. I asked the waitress the name and of course forgot it since. The rice cake was crispy and flavorful and I could have eaten a dozen of them. Luckily, they only put three on my plate!
John had the sweet corn risotto. It was a grilled tempeh with a green chili cream sauce, and a zucchini, cremini, red pepper, and okra mixture (which they called risotto) with spinach on top. I really enjoyed the combination of flavors in his dish. The creme sauce was rich, yet not over powering. It worked well with the "risotto" mixture. He absolutely loved it and wished he had had a full other plate of the delicious entree. I wished the same for mine.
The portions were not large, but we left feeling satisfied and happy. We decided to pass on dessert as we had picked up raw, vegan, gluten free macaroons as the co-op that we wanted to try. We headed out to a local coffee shop and enjoyed a hot cup of apple cider and enjoyed our raw dessert.
The night was a delicious success. I will recommend Plant to vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores. It is a place for anyone who would like a bit of upscale dining with a lot of flavor and creativity!